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14 Books We Want to Read in June

We love helping readers find the best books each week in our e-newsletter, via our quarterly reading guides, and through our many book lists.  Despite all our best intentions, we can’t read all the books – even though we wish we could!  Plus, sometimes we miss out on early copies, and we have to wait until books are available in bookstores.  So this book list is filled with those books we can’t wait to get our hands on this month.

When I think of June, I immediately think of summer, beach reading, and long lazy days curled up with a book.  There are so many excellent books hitting bookshelves in June, and we readers have much to look forward to.  So check out this list of new books that we can’t wait to read in June!

With Teeth : A Novel Kristen Arnett

With Teeth by Kristen Arnett

From the author of the New York Times-bestselling sensation Mostly Dead Things a surprising and moving story of two mothers, one difficult son, and the limitations of marriage, parenthood, and love.

Hard Like Water  Yan Lianke

Hard Like Water by Yan Lianke, Translated by Carlos Rojas

Gao Aijun is a son of the soil of Henan’s Balou Mountains, and after a service in the Army, he is on his way back to his ancestral village, feeling like a hero. Close to his arrival, he sees a strikingly attractive woman walking barefoot alongside a railway track in the warm afternoon sun, and he is instantly smitten. She is Xia Hongmei and lives up to her name of “beautiful flower.” Hiding their relationship from their spouses, the pair hurl themselves into the struggle to bring revolution to their backwater village.

Walking on Cowrie Shells : Stories Nana Nkweti

Walking on Cowrie Shells by Nana Nkweti

Pulling from mystery, horror, realism, myth, and graphic novels, Nkweti showcases the complexity and vibrance of characters whose lives span Cameroonian and American cultures.

Hola Papi : How to Come Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons John Paul Brammer

Hola Papi by John Paul Brammer

From popular LGBTQ advice columnist and writer John Paul Brammer comes a hilarious, heartwarming memoir-in-essays chronicling his journey growing up as a queer, mixed-race kid in America’s heartland to becoming the “Chicano Carrie Bradshaw” of his generation.

What You Can See from Here : A Novel Mariana Leky

What You Can See from Here by Mariana Leky, Translated by Tess Lewis

A heartwarming story unfolds about a small town, a grandmother whose dreams foretell a coming death, and the young woman forever changed by these losses and her loving, endearingly oddball community.

One Last Stop  Casey McQuiston

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston’s One Last Stop is a magical, sexy, big-hearted romance where the impossible becomes possible as August does everything in her power to save the girl lost in time.

The Woman in the Purple Skirt : A Novel Natsuko Imamura

The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura, Translated by Lucy North

Studiously deadpan and chillingly voyeuristic, The Woman in the Purple Skirt explores envy, loneliness, power dynamics, and the vulnerability of unmarried women in a taut, suspenseful narrative about the sometimes desperate desire to be seen.

The Maidens : A Novel Alex Michaelides

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

A spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession.

Long Division : A Novel Kiese Laymon

Long Division by Kiese Laymon

A debut novel about Black teenagers that is a satirical exploration of celebrity, authorship, violence, religion, and coming of age in post-Katrina Mississippi.

Daughters of Sparta : A Novel Claire Heywood

Daughters of Sparta by Claire Heywood

For millennia, men have told the legend of the woman whose face launched a thousand ships–but now it’s time to hear her side of the story. Daughters of Sparta is a tale of secrets, love, and tragedy from the women behind mythology’s most devastating war, the infamous Helen and her sister Klytemnestra.

Dear Senthuran : A Black Spirit Memoir Akwaeke Emezi

Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi

Through candid, intimate correspondence with friends, lovers, and family, Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world. Their story weaves through transformative decisions about their gender and body, their precipitous path to success as a writer, and the turmoil of relationships on an emotional, romantic, and spiritual plane, culminating in a book that is as tender as it is brutal.

Filthy Animals : Stories Brandon Taylor

Filthy Animals by Brandon Taylor

In the series of linked stories at the heart of Filthy Animals, set among young creatives in the American Midwest — a tender portrait of the fierce longing for intimacy, the lingering presence of pain, and the desire for love in a world that seems, more often than not, to withhold it.

How to Kidnap the Rich : A Novel Rahul Raina

How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina

The first kidnapping wasn’t my fault. The others–those were definitely me.

Brilliant yet poor, Ramesh Kumar grew up working at his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India’s elite.  When one of his clients, the sweet but hapless eighteen-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, thanks to him, Ramesh sees an opportunity–perhaps even an obligation–to cash in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity.  Not knowing that Rudi’s role on a game show will lead to unexpected love, followed by wild trouble when both young men are kidnapped.

Dead Dead Girls  Nekesa Afia

Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia

Harlem, 1926 — Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life.  When a girl turns up dead, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore–two other local Black girls have been murdered in the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell.

What do you think about the books on this list?

Are any of these books on your TBR?  What books are you looking forward to reading in June?  What books would you add to the list?

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